Print 51 comment(s) - last by quiksilvr.. on Aug 17 at 7:52 PM

  (Source: Engadget)
Zune HD can be pre-ordered today

Microsoft is holding steady at third place in the MP3 player market well behind Apple and behind second place SanDisk. Microsoft is still trying to woo customers to its Zune PMPs and has officially announced pricing and availability for its latest Zune player.

The Zune HD specifications and rumored pricing were leaked this week and today Microsoft has made pricing official. Redmond will be offering the 32GB Zune HD for $289.99 and the 16GB version will sell for $219.99.

Microsoft is taking pre-orders on the platinum 32GB Zune HD and a black 16GB Zune HD now online. The Zune HD devices can be purchased in stores on September 15. The pre-order devices are in the platinum or black colors only, but the device will be offered in five different colors and have ten different art engraving options.

The Zune HD is the first Microsoft PMP to offer a touch screen. While the specs on the HD leaked a while back, Microsoft has officially confirmed them the Zune HD will offer a HD radio receiver, HD video output, an OLED 3.3-inch screen with 480 x 272 resolution, integrated Wi-Fi, and a full internet browser. The device also runs the NVIDIA Tegra HD processor.

Along with the debut of the Zune HD device will come a slew of new accessories as well. The Zune AV Dock will connect the HD to your TV with 720p capability and will sell for $89.99, the Zune HD AV & Power Pack will sell for $49.99 and connect the Zune HD to the TV and keep it charged.

There will undoubtedly be a slew of other accessories coming from third-party vendors as well to lure money out of the pockets of new Zune HD owners.

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Will current zune owners preorder?
By Roffles on 8/13/2009 10:50:42 AM , Rating: 2
I've had my zune80 for about 18 months and have only received one firmware update in that time....and it added features that I could really care less about and should have been there in the first place. With constant firmware updates and audio specific customizations galore, I was spoiled by the likes of Cowon and iRiver products before the zune (Rio Karma, iRiver H340, Cowon A3). Microsoft left a bad taste in my mouth with the zune80. They don't cater to audiophiles plain and simple. I will definitely wait for the reviews with the intent of going back to Cowon.

RE: Will current zune owners preorder?
By SilentSin on 8/13/2009 11:28:58 AM , Rating: 2
What 18 months did you have it?

There are 4 updates listed there within the last 18 months, 5 if you go back 19. Most of the updates are things I would consider significant.

I'll say they could improve on their format support in order to "cater to audiophiles", but then again it could be much worse, too. The only real rough patch I would see an audiophile hitting is getting a straightforward line-out on the go for use with pocket amps or DACs, that is damn near impossible.

RE: Will current zune owners preorder?
By SilentSin on 8/13/2009 11:30:45 AM , Rating: 2
Stupid edit button...3 in the last 18 months, 5 if you go back 21.

By Smilin on 8/13/2009 1:32:16 PM , Rating: 2
Not all of those updates were mandatory. Most weren't.

RE: Will current zune owners preorder?
By Roffles on 8/14/2009 1:24:33 AM , Rating: 2
I believe my zune80 shipped with 2.2 or 2.3 and I honestly don't think any update actually gave me any real features that hold a candle to what I was accustomed to with iRiver and Cowon for the past 5 years. Perhaps you never really played with one of these products because you aren't really grasping what I mean by audio-centric features. I do have a Cowon A7 8GB that I use for exercise and travel. Let me run through the menus and show you what I mean by options that cater to audiophiles.

1. lyrics
2. bookmarking so I can save a spot, listen to other stuff, and finish it later.
3. id3 OR file name support.
4. the A7 acts as a harddrive so i can plug it in anywhere to any computer. this is big because i hate syncing programs.
5. voice recorder, fm recorder, line in mp3 recorder
6. very highly customizable sound effects (too many to mention without getting too wordy), multiple equalizers, and a custom equalizer.
7. customized shuffle
8. customizable display
9. sleep and wakeup timers
10. customize skip and scan length
10. customizable button (hotkey)
11. 30 to 40 hour battery life!!!!!!!!!!! (important for travel)

There's a few other things in the menus that I missed, but the point is that these are audio specific features the zune is missing and I USE THEM. If the zuneHD can't at least pick up on a few of these features, then I'm going back to Cowon. I don't need a web browser or apps or someone pushing me into a marketing experiment to see if they can profit further from my purchase of a piece of hardware.

By imaheadcase on 8/14/2009 1:54:24 AM , Rating: 2
No most won't.

The zune, like most music players on the market are used for just music.

Fact is most just get a mp3 player, put it on, drop it in pocket or clip and go doing what they do. They don't spend time looking at the screen.

"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
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